ESPN Big 12 writer David Ubben recently spoke to West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck about the school's transition to the Big 12 and his opinion on whether or not the Big 12 should expand beyond its current team membership. Luck's comments are interesting for what they might mean for the future of the Big East and for what Luck says he learned from the mistakes the Big East made in the past.
On whether or not the Big 12 should expand, Luck told Ubben:
"My recommendation would be to look long and hard at moving up, whether it’s to 11 or 12, particularly when you look at how big the SEC is, how big the ACC is going to be, the number that the Big Ten and the Pac-12 are at," Luck told ESPN.com this week. "I think it would be wise to take a long hard look at that because there is some strength in numbers."
On staying at ten teams, Luck seems to agree that it's a nice, even schedule that allows every team to play every other team and determine a champion without a championship game. Still, Luck doesn't think that's reason enough not to expand further.
"Ten is the ideal number for fair and equitable conference play, no question about it, but having said that, I’m not sure that you want to stay at 10, given where everybody else is," Luck said.
So what would Luck recommend the Big 12 do?
"My message to my fellow ADs -- and I’m the new kid on the block, so I haven’t really said too much -- but I said to the group that I think the Big East was complacent by remaining at eight (teams)," he said, "and that doesn’t really give you much room for error if somebody does want to pick up and leave, as happened with Pitt and Syracuse."
Big 12 expansion will be a topic of discussion for fans of Big East schools for as long as the Big 12 remains at ten teams and several Big East members continue to lobby for an invitation (most notably, Louisville). With 13 football playing members, the Big East could conceivably survive the loss of one more football school and still reach its desired goal of having a conference championship game for football.
Be sure to check our Big East Expansion Section for further news on this and other stories related to teams moving both in and out of the Big East.